Student Commencement Speaker Competition

Questions? Contact the Student Affairs Office at or 610-606-4680.


College provides a lifetime of memories and being the Cedar Crest College Commencement Student Speaker can be a memory that you add to your list.  This year a graduating senior will be selected to represent the class during the commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14, 2016 through a prepared presentation.

The competition is comprised of two parts; a written submission and speech presentation. Both components will be reviewed by the Commencement Speaker Selection Committee who will select the winner. Please review the guidelines below for complete information. Contact, or call 610-606-4680 if there are any questions.

Who is Eligible?

Cedar Crest College undergraduate students who will graduate and receive their degree in May 2016 are eligible to participate. This includes August 2015, January 2016 and May 2016 graduates. Students who will be participating in the Commencement Ceremony but still need to complete up to six credits to graduate are not eligible.

Judging Process

The winner will be selected based on a combination of the written submission and delivery of the speech during an audition in front of the Commencement Speaker Selection Committee.

  • The length of the speech should be a maximum of three minutes.
  • Grammar, writing style, and spelling are important elements of the written submission.
  • Topic relevancy, appropriateness of content, time, delivery and creativity are important elements of the presentation.
  • The speech must be an original work.

Application Materials and Process

Students who wish to be considered for the role of undergraduate student speaker at commencement should do the following:

  • Submissions must be made in a Word document.
  • Font used should be Times new Roman.
  • Font should be size 12.
  • All submissions are to be emailed as an attachment to
  • The email subject heading should be “Commencement Student Speaker Competition.”
  • The names of the students who submit presentations will be anonymous to the Commencement Speaker Selection Committee during the review of the written submission. Therefore, student information is not to be included on the Word document. Instead, include the following information in the body of the email that is sent with your submission:
    • Name
    • Student ID Number
    • Email Address
    • Phone Number
  • Selected finalists must present their speech in front of the Commencement Speaker Selection Committee.
  • The student selected as the winner must be willing to work with a faculty mentor as needed in preparation of the speech delivery on commencement day.


Friday, March 25, 2016: Deadline to submit written speeches
Week of April 4, 2016: Finalists present to Selection Committee (Times based on finalists’ availability)
Week of April 11, 2016: Commencement speaker competition winner announced
Saturday, May 14, 2016: Present speech at 146th Commencement Ceremony


The theme of your speech should be: “How has your Cedar Crest College experience transformed you?”


  • When planning your speech think about a topic that will have meaning for the largest number of persons. Remember that while the graduating class is your primary audience, the speech should also have elements which will be of interest and appeal to faculty, staff, families and distinguished guests.
  • Strong speeches will be those that reflect on the common educational experience as well as how Cedar Crest College made a positive impact on you.
  • Strong speeches tend to have strong themes which are consistent throughout the speech.


The winner of the Commencement Speaker Competition will receive a $100 prize.


Submissions will not be returned. The winning speech may be included in the Crestiad or other publications

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